Genesis 42 Chapter 1 - 21
Genesis Chapter 42 Verse 1-21
Verse 01. Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why
do ye look one upon another?
Key Phrase: Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt; That is, to be sold there, or
otherwise it being there would be useless it could bot ne bought. Thus would have
been of no reason for foreigners to travel to get it. Now Jacob had either seen
persons passing by with corn, of whom he inquired from whence they had it, who
replied, from Egypt. Or he understood by the report of others that corn was to be
Key Phrase: Jacob said unto, his sons, why do ye look one upon another? like persons in
surprise, distress and despair, at their wits' end, not knowing what to do, what
course to take, which way to turn themselves, scarce able to speak to one another,
and consult with each other what was proper to be done. The meaning may be,
"why do ye look?" here and there, in the land of Canaan, where it is to no purpose
to look for corn when none is to be found, look where it is to be had.
Verse 02. And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither,
and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.
Key Phrase: And he said, behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt; This explains what
Is meant by the phrase he saw, one sense being put for another.
Key Phrase: get ye down thither; As fast as you can without delay. Egypt lay lower or south of
Canaan, and therefore they are bid to go down.
Key Phrase: and buy for us from thence, that we may live, and not die; Which shows the fact
that the famine was very pressing. Unless they could buy corn from Egypt they
could not live, but would die.
Verse 03. And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.
Note: They obeyed their father's orders, and immediately set out for Egypt. The "ten" of them
went down in a group all together. All except Benjamin, so that it is easily reckoned who
they were. They are called brethren not Jacob’s sons as they were normally referred
too. Each representing they’re own family not Jacob’s as a monarchy.
Note: They could carry more corn with ten and it would be bought by each to supply the
family. Also to prevent theft on the road to Egypt people were desperate during this
famine and would take it from travelers if possibl
Verse 04. But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest
peradventure mischief befall him.
Key Phrase: But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren’ Benjamin is
called Joseph's brother, because he was so both by father and the mother's side,
as the rest were not. Jacob kept him with him, being the youngest and his darling,
the only son he had with him of his beloved wife Rachel. Very probably the more
beloved by him since he had suffered the loss of Joseph. It was not only to keep
him company that he retained him at home, but for the reason following.
Key Phrase: for he said, lest peradventure mischief befall him; Jacob is referring to what had
befallen to Joseph his brother, as he imagined. It was also that he thought that
either that the journey would be too much for him, being young. Lest he should
be seized with sickness on the road or rather with death.
Verse 05. And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine
was in the land of Canaan.
Key Phrase: And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came; Either among
the Egyptians that came to buy or among those who came from countries outside
Note: The use of the tern sons of Israel is used not the sons of Jacob because they represent
not their father but the 12 tribes that will become Israel. Jacob was given the name by
God of Israel by God.
Special Note: In Genesis 12:10 Abraham went down into Egypt because the famine was in the
land of Canaan. This is not the first time famine has been in the land of Canaan.
Verse 06. And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the
people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves
before him with their faces to the earth.
Key Phrase: And Joseph was the governor over the land; Not the land of Canaan which was
Last mentioned, but the land of Egypt. Under Pharaoh, he had the chief and sole
authority, and especially in the affair of the corn, and the disposal of that.
Key Phrase: and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: Of Egypt, and also to all that
came out of other lands to buy. We know that he in person could not do all this,
but by those that acted under him.
Key Phrase: and bowed down themselves before him, with their faces to the earth; They
prostrated their whole bodies, stretching out their hands and feet, and touching
the ground with their faces, as was the manner of the eastern countries.
Note: They submit themselves to him in the most humble manner, and thereby, though
without their knowledge, fulfilled his dream of their sheaves making obeisance to his
sheaf, see Genesis 37:7.
Verse 07. And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto
them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye?
And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.
Key Phrase: And Joseph saw his brethren; Among those that came to buy corn. He would of
course recognize them.
Key Phrase: and he knew them; Even though it had been more than 22 years at this point.
Their appearance had changed, their beards grown when they sold him their
habits and dress now being much the same it was when he was younger.
Key Phrase: but made himself strange unto them; He would act as if he took no notice of
them as his relatives. He conveyed himself to them as he did to other foreigners
yet more strangely then normal.
Key Phrase: and spake roughly unto them; Hard, with authority in his words. Put on a stern
countenance, and spoke with a high tone and in a rough surly manner to them. :
Key Phrase: and he said unto them, whence come ye?; He is asking who are you? What
country are you from? What is your business here? These would seem to be
normal questions to the sons of Israel from a governor of Egypt.
Note: For Joseph to have these questions asked was not normal. His assistants would have
normally recorded this information and sold the grain to them and told them to leave.
Key Phase: and they said, from the land of Canaan to buy food; 1st For which they could not
get in Canaan, the famine being there so great. 2nd To see if they would be truthful
to him about their purpose. All Joseph remembers of them is hatred and disdain.
Verse 08. And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.
Verse 09. And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto
them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.
Key Phase: And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them; Their bowing
and prostrating themselves before him brought to his remembrance his dreams of
their sheaves making obeisance to his, and of the sun, moon, and eleven stars,
doing the same to him, Genesis 37:7.
Note: Did you catch the specific correlation with the sheaves or stalks bundled together of the
corn (grain) is exactly what they are their requesting from him.
Key Phrase: and said unto them, ye are spies; Not believing they were, nor absolutely
accusing or asserting that they were such. This he said to try them, and what they
would say for themselves, and in order to lead on to further discourse with them.
Note: Joseph dealt with them as a judge on the bench, when examining persons, whose
charges have the nature of an interrogation, as this has: "ye are spies"; are ye not? surely
ye must be, and unless you give a better account of yourselves, I must think you are.
Key Phrase: to see the nakedness of the land ye are come; what parts of it are weakest or
most defenseless, less fortified easiest to break in at and invade the land. It was
not without reason that the Egyptians might suspect the neighboring nations
round about them, being in distress, and hearing of corn in Egypt.
Note: The pretext for this sudden accusation lies in the constant exposure of the Egyptians on
their eastern border, to raids and attacks from nomad hordes of Asiatics. Joseph’s words
are therefore quite natural. Others had formed ideas or plans of coming upon them and
taking away their corn by force. Thus the reason why foreigners that came to buy corn
were brought before Joseph and examined by him. God was with him in discernment of
the hearts of men. God is with Joseph always because of his faithfulness and Gods plan.
Verse 10. And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come.
Key Phrase: And they said unto him, nay, my lord; One in the name of the rest or each in his
turn, denying that they were spies. Thus addressing him with the reverence and
in submission, calling him their lord. This further supports his dreams in his youth.
Key Phrase: but to buy food are thy servants come; That they had and no other purpose
except what they came to Egypt for to by corn so they would not perish.
Verse 11. We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.
Key Phrase: We are all one man's sons; It would be foolish for us to be spies, since we all have
the same father, therefore we are not likely to be spies.